Luke 10:1 (CEV)
1Later the Lord chose seventy-two other followers and sent them out two by two to every town and village where he was about to go.
The Advance Party
Have you ever been given a job on the set-up team for an event? Sent out ahead to get everything ready for a wedding? Or maybe sent to scope out a venue for an upcoming conference?
There are all sorts of things that go into preparing for an important event. Making contacts and connections, scoping out the lay of the land. Preparing the right menus or speaking schedules, or making sure that the facilities are up to spec.
Jesus’ ministry is growing. He’s announced that he’s getting ready to head to Jerusalem – that he’s going to be killed when he gets there. Time is of the essence. The things that need to get done, need to be done, and done properly.
So he gathers 72 followers this time (not just his twelve closest disciples) and sends them out in 36 groups of two to get things ready in the villages that he’s heading to. To look for places where Jesus and his message will be welcomed and heard well. To prepare people for the message that Jesus is coming to bring. To take care of some of the healing and evil spirit delivering work that they’re able to do so that Jesus can just bring the thunder when he comes.
They’re supposed to go in faith – not taking with them anything to survive with, but trusting people along the way to provide for them.
It’s a pretty crazy task. These aren’t the top twelve disciples. They have all probably been around for a while, but these aren’t the cream of the crop. We don’t get a list of their names. We don’t get their bios. I assume that’s probably because those things aren’t very exciting.
But that’s what’s exciting about this passage.
These folks who have simply faithfully been following Jesus around get handed this enormous responsibility – go and prepare people to hear from Jesus!
And the reason this is exciting is because it can be so easy for us to think that there’s no place for us in this Kingdom story. We can think that we’re not good enough or important enough; that we don’t have all of our shit together. That we haven’t learned all the “right words” or figured out all the “right rules” or got ourselves through the right schools or the right classes or the right programs.
Tomorrow we’ll look at what they’re supposed to do.
Tomorrow we’ll look at how they’re supposed to do it.
But today I want us to stop and notice.
This Kingdom story that Jesus is inviting people into? He’s looking for ordinary folks, just like you and me, to be part of preparing people to hear about it. He’s looking for ordinary folks, just like you and me, to go out and talk about it and get people excited about it. He’s looking for ordinary folks … just like you and me.
Will you say yes?Journal Questions:
- Are you excited about the Kingdom story of Jesus?
- Do you find yourself wanting to tell others about it, but worried that maybe you don’t have what it takes?
- What would it look like to be an ordinary person who nevertheless decided to say ‘yes’ to Jesus’ invitation to become a Kingdom storyteller?
- Tune in tomorrow for more on the story …